Stephanie Goebel | 4.5.16
In the past couple of weeks a bill about affirmative consent has come before the Connecticut state legislature that would create a blanket reform across all Connecticut universities regarding consent. It would require that consent to sex be affirmative. Joe Biden just pushed it at the Oscars. Everywhere in America, college campuses are making a move toward affirmative definitions of consent. So what, exactly, is affirmative consent?
You’ve probably heard the often repeated “no means no” catchphrase of previous legislation. This is part of a culture that places blame upon the survivor of sexual assault. By saying, “no means no” we turn to the survivor and ask them to put up red lights, stop signs, and the like when something gets uncomfortable for them. This kind of law waits until the situation has already entered a gray area that can get murky. Instead, the proposed “yes means yes” legislation asks the initiator to ask for permission, rather than be granted forgiveness.